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I've got to ship a jazz bass in its case...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by purpletornado, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. purpletornado


    Aug 5, 2009
    and have a few questions. Do I have to box it up myself or will UPS do that for me? If UPS did do it, how much would they charge? Ballpark, what's it going to cost me to ship this bad boy?
  2. LaBassGuy


    Aug 26, 2008
    Of course you have to box it up. UPS doesn't even have a box to accomodate a bass. You have to find one from a local guitar store or a box store. It'll cost around $40 to ship, maybe a bit more.
  3. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    The UPS store will box it up. If you do it that way, it makes them resposible for packaging as well. However, it's not exactly cheap. Probably $70-$80 when it's all said and done... including shipping.

    Edit: Labassguy is correct in that they don't have actual boxes that will fit, but they will wrap it in bubble wrap and cut some larger boxes up and make a box that will fit.
  4. Barry Demay

    Barry Demay

    Feb 18, 2009
    Akron, Ohio
    A 'guitar box' is available from your local UPS store for around $22. It will cost you $10 in 'packing peanuts' and around $35 to ship CONUS without insurance. Insurance is $2 per $100 of declared value (with the first 100 for free). So shipping a $1000 guitar that UPS pack would cost you around $85! Word of advice - pack it yourself. I myself use FedEx for all shipping because they are much cheaper and handle fragile items MUCH better.
  5. Not true. UPS Stores and most other independent shipping stores sell a guitar/bass box. It's not cheap though! The box alone can cost around $20. By the time you have them pack, box and ship the bass it will probably be in the $60 to $70 range. If you want to save some money try finding a free box from a guitar shop as suggested. Fed Ex Ground is usually cheaper than UPS for shipping large items too!
  6. duderasta


    Feb 25, 2010
    Lake Placid, FL
    when shipping in the case I hit walmart for a cheap "eggcrate" foam mattress topper. The last one I got was 8 bucks I think. I add it inside the case, under the neck and then lay a piece over the whole top of the guitar. The end result should be no movement at all if you shake the case... UPS store will charge around 20 bucks to pack the case.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I've never used UPS when shipping a bass. I've always used USPS with good results and never put the case in a box. I made sure to bubble wrap the bass inside the case then tape around the hinges of the case.
  8. LaBassGuy


    Aug 26, 2008
    I have not seen a bass box at my UPS store. They suggested that I go buy a box for a mattress which is a lot larger than what I needed. And one box store sold a "guitar" box was too small for my Sterling--much less a larger bass.

    As such, I think seeking a box from a music store is the surest way to go.

  9. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Might be overkill, but I get a bicycle box and cut it down to size. They're triple-wall corrugated so there's a lot better protection. Having been in the logistics biz since 1990, I won't use UPS (Useless Parcel Systems) for anything large,bulky,or valuable.

  10. Word!
    They destroyed three Ampeg amps on the way to me.

    There's a reason we used to call ourselves "Oops" when I worked for UPS back in the 90's.
  11. purpletornado


    Aug 5, 2009
    Thanks for all the advice guys. The one place in town that ships, besides the USPS, uses both UPS and FedEX so I think I'll use the latter.
  12. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    UPS stores are franchises, so they don't all have the same boxes. Some do carry them, although they are larger and bulkier than standard bass boxes (not necessarily a bad thing). As has been mentioned, they cost about $20 or so, but if you go that route ask them for any available discounts - they might give you one on the spot, depending on the clerk, etc.

    If you're out of luck on finding guitar boxes at your local music store, your best/cheapest option might be to pick up the box from UPS, package it yourself, with peanuts and foam, etc., picked up from an office supply place, and send it out through Fed-Ex.

    Yes, depends on how much running around you want to do, but that option will be way cheaper than UPS, and IMO Fed-Ex is way more reliable anyway. I wouldn't go USPS - they lose too much stuff.
  13. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    My local UPS Store had a box that fit a bass case. It was around $25 for them to pack it for me, I used some bubble wrap around the bass and neck inside the case, too. With the box you get real close to the maximum size for shipping USPS Parcel Post, which is much cheaper than the other methods. I sent the bass to NJ from Houston for around $30.

    Be sure to only use new packing materials, no old boxes, and keep receipts, or you may have problems if the bass gets damaged.
  14. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Whatever you pack it in, be sure that the bass BODY can not move inside the case. The body has a lot more mass than the neck and if the body moves and the neck hits the inside of the case, catastrophic damage can result.

    I've used closed-cell foam around the gaps between the body curves and the case. Just be sure the foam is compatible with the finish (Nitro isn't compatible with a lot of poly-based foams).
  15. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    UPS + Bass = broken bass

    I wouldn't ship a box of packing foam with UPS, knowing they would find a way to break it. And not pay the insurance claim.
    Been there, done that with those bozo's. Beware.
  16. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    I don't know what UPS uses, but Fed Ex uses a centrifugal sorter that kicks packages out at ~7Gs. If that doesn't kill a poorly packed bass, not sure what will... I don't know how big the packages that are sorted that way are, but I don't like the thought of that.

    Doesn't matter who you ship with - pack it WELL.
  17. purpletornado


    Aug 5, 2009
    Funny to hear all the UPS hate here. I went to the local shipping store today to see about getting this thing sent out. They do both UPS and FedEX, well I'm standing there waiting for the girl to figure out which boxes to use to build one big enough for my bass and I see, right on top of the day's inbox, a letter from UPS saying "We regret to inform you that your package you shipped with us has been damaged." I got a good chuckle out of that one.
  18. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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